Historic Atlanta church vandalized on MLK Jr. Day

Vandalismn rattled the community at Saint Paul AME, a historic Atlanta church.

"Everybody just kind of left sad and somber," said Isaiah J. Waddy, the senior pastor. "We just know it had to be someone who obviously is mad at the church." 

Church members found "666" spray-painted across the windows and also the words "Pay Back." 

Waddy said the timing of the vandalism made it worse.

"It was disturbing to me because it's MLK Celebration Day and somebody had the demeanor or the hate or whatever it was to deface a place of worship."

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A church member called Channel 2 Action News to look into the troubling discovery. We checked with Atlanta police and they say they're investigating it as criminal damage to property.

No one at the church appears to know who is responsible or why it happened.

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"'666' could be a part of devil worship or something like that but the payback part was really just kind of off the cuff," Waddy said.

The AME church as been on Pryor Road for nearly 56 years.

What happened Monday may have been a first.

"Church has been here a long time and none of us know of any incidents like this."

Waddy isn't sure what message the vandals tried to send on the outside of the church.

But he says they can find a better one if they ever came inside of it.

"Please come back on Sunday, and worship with us. You dont have to say, 'I was the one who did it.' Just come in."

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